Earlier this year, Apple pledged $100 million to President Obama's ConnectED program, an initiative that aims to bring reliable, high-speed broadband to 99 percent of schools across the United States. And today the company published a new website that gives the full details on where that money is headed. Apple's grants will be distributed to 114 schools located in 29 states.
Every student at participating schools will receive an iPad, with teachers and administrators also given Macs and Apple TV set-top boxes for classroom use. "A lack of equal access to technology and knowledge puts entire communities and populations of students at a disadvantage, especially minorities," reads the new site outlining Apple's contribution. "We want to do our part to change this." Apple says its pledge, which the White House described in February as "an unprecedented commitment for the company," as an "important first step" in advancing the cause of modern technology in every classroom. During a speech at the Alabama state capitol today, CEO Tim Cook touched on the subject. "Education is a fundamental human right for everyone," Cook said.
And with that first step, Apple is focusing on schools that are struggling to provide students and communities with the technology that others might take for granted. At the locations Apple has picked, at least 96 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. The company also notes that 92 percent of students at partner schools are of Hispanic, Black, Native American, Alaskan Native, or Asian heritage. "Despite their economic challenges, these schools share a vision of what their students’ lives would be like with Apple technology," Apple says. Here's how Apple's grants map out across the country; a full list of schools is also available.
Apple wants to see things through with its pledge to ConnectED, and that extends beyond simply passing its products around. The company says each school will be assigned a dedicated Apple Education Team that will help educators integrate the technology in lessons and ensure they can make the most of what they've been given. Other companies including Adobe, Microsoft, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint have also made significant pledges to Obama's ConnectED initiative.